Exclusive Interview with Dorel’s Nicola Locke!

Dorel Juvenile is a world class baby and children’s products company, creating innovative products to serve needs whilst putting its emphasis on safety. A trusted, renowned brand, dedicated to the well-being of babies and young children, they have decades of experience and a great portfolio of brands and products! We were lucky enough to speak to Nicola Locke, Dorel’s Sales & Training Representative for the UK’s southern region.

Can you tell us a little bit about the history of Dorel and its brands, Baby Art, Tiny Love and Safety 1st?

Dorel Industries Inc. is a global organization, operating three distinct businesses in juvenile products, bicycles and home products. Dorel’s strength lies in the diversity, innovation and quality of its products as well as the superiority of its brands. Dorel employs approximately 8,000 people across 25 countries worldwide.

Safety 1st was founded in the early 80’s by Michael Lerner, who was inspired to pursue a business opportunity in safety signs for car windows after a nerve-wracking trip driving his 18-month old nephew home. More than twenty-five years later, Safety 1st have a proven track record of putting Safety 1st with mums and dads around the globe. While the landscape of the juvenile products industry has changed over the years, the brands mission “to provide innovative products designed to make your family safer and your life easier” has stayed the same.

Tiny Love is a leading international, multiple award-winning brand known best for our innovative and advanced range of toys and developmental products. We are constantly innovating to come up with new developmental toys that stimulate your baby’s skills and senses and nurture and develop your relationship. The company was founded in 1991, with their goal to create products that would support baby’s development from birth and offer smart solutions to parents’ genuine needs. Today, Tiny Love products are available in more than 50 countries worldwide, helping babies and parents grow together and enjoy Moments of Wonder™.

The story of BABY ART began with a father’s love for his daughter and wanted to share his wonder and joy with his nearest and dearest. The idea of a personal gift took the shape of a moulded product suitable for babies and toddlers. Then came a brand which offers an original range of birth gifts for personalizing and creative baby souvenirs. Very personal, unique birth gift ideas, to give or keep for yourself, to keep an indelible memory of Baby’s early months.

What key retail categories does Dorel’s portfolio cover?

There is a large choice to the consumer when shopping with the Dorel brands. Safety 1st is best known for its product portfolio in it’s home safety range including safety gates and items, however Safety 1st is continuing to develop and launch new innovative products across new categories including Home Equipment, Car Seats and Strollers which can all be found on the Baby Brands website. Safety 1st also has some very exciting product launches happening this year- so watch this space!

What social media reach do you have across your brands?

Tiny Love – 37.5k on Instagram. Great social platform to keep up with latest products, awards and hints and tips about babies development!
Safety 1st – 22k on Instagram, where you can find great lifestyle and product imagery and information on new products.

What do you consider to be your hero products from the brands we stock at Baby Brands Direct?

If I had to pick the most popular and hero lines for each of the brands, it would have to be the below:

Safety 1st – SecurTech® Auto Close Metal Gate. The Auto-Close stair gate offers a smart and easy-to-use automatic closing mechanism. Simply squeeze the buttons on the handle to open it and let it close automatically when shutting. Parents can see that the gate is safely closed by looking at the Secure Tech® indicator.

Tiny Love- Black & White Gymini. Our best selling line which has won many awards and also once featured on a TV Advert! The Black and White Gymini is part of the Magical Tales collections. A trendy playmat that nurtures your baby’s innate ability for exploration and its moving adjustable arches that adapt to baby stage and age.

Baby Art- Magic Round Box Essentials. An original form the collection where parents can cherish the souvenir of their baby’s little hands or feet for ever.

We also seeing great reaction from the Safety 1st High chairs with the Nordik and Timba both seeing a growth in sales and also the Tiny Love Wonder Buddies. These are fairly new to the market, launching late 2020, and are a new fun interactive toy with built in smart sensors, suitable for toddlers 12 months +.

Can you tell us about the key values that make Dorel’s products and brands unique from others in the market?

By Dorel having such an extensive brand portfolio, we have products to cater for all customers’ needs during their parenting journey. Through our product innovation, service & marketing, we look at every angle how we can make parenting more convenient, safe, fun and accessible to you.

Do you know how many awards the brand has won globally? Which award is the most recent?

Gold- Mother & Baby Awards 2021 for Best Toy- Black & White Gymini Tiny Love
Bronze – Mother and Baby 2019 – Best Baby Toy – Tiny Love Dynamic Gymini Meadow Days Gym
Gold- Made for Mums, Toy awards 2018-Tiny Love Gymini Deluxe Into the Forest
Bronze- NPPA, Best Baby Toy 2018- Dynamic Gymini
Silver- NPPA, Best Baby Developmental Toy 2018- Black & White Gymini
Silver- NPPA- Best Highchair 2018- Timba

Do you have any advice for retailers?

Just be as transparent as you can with your customers. In today’s current climate every ones against elements out of their control which I feel customers understand. Just be as open and honest and customers will appreciate and trust your business and service you’re offering, and it also causes you less stress if customers are chasing etc 😊

Tell us more about yourself!

What is your favourite comfort food?

This is a tough question as I’m a massive foody, however I would have to say a hearty, creamy bowl of pasta would be my go-to meal with a side of bread and lots of cheese- all the carbs!

What TV shows have you been binging?

The list is endless, especially during lockdown. I highly recommend The Queens Gambit (even if you don’t like chess), the Undoing, Bridgeton & Schitts Creek.

Where would your dream holiday be?

As you may be able to tell from my food choice I love the relaxed Italian culture and cuisine, so my dream holiday would be to travel the Amalfi coast, especially Positano & Sorrento 😊

Check out the Dorel brand page for more amazing products, available to buy wholesale at Baby Brands Direct.